Do you love your sparking wine and Champagne? How much do you know about your favourite bottle of bubbly.
Just about every adult Australian has popped a bottle of sparkling wine after a cause for celebration. Champagne and other bubblies have become synonymous with various events both public and private. But what every person drinking sparkling needs is a bunch of facts to impress their counterparts. Here are some amazing facts about sparkling wines both in Australia and abroad.
The countries that drink the most sparkling wine
While Germans are known around the world for steins of beer, they absolutely love a bottle of bubbly in Deutschland. They consume more sparkling wine than any other country in the world, 2.9 million hectolitres in fact. That’s about 10,000 Olympic swimming pools of sparkling wine! This works out to be about 4.7 bottles per person. In comparison, Australians consume about a third of a bottle. Though Aussies who love a bottle of bubbly would take it to the Germans!
The second biggest consumer of sparkling wine is the home of Vodka, Russia. The Ruskies consume 2.4 Mhl per year. While their friends on the other side of the Pacific, the USA are third highest with 1.9 million hectolitres downed annually.
Interestingly enough, the home of Champagne comes only in fourth place with 1.8 million hectolitres drunk annually. Though when you consider the French’s small population of 70 million (which is still more than double Australia), they love the bubbly second only to Germany per capita with 3.7 bottles per person yearly.
The countries that produce the most sparkling wine
It’s no surprise that when it comes to producing sparkling wine, France produces the most with one out of every five of the world’s bubbles being from le Français.
Their mates across the south-east border in Italy are second biggest producer of sparkling wine with 18% of the world’s bottles produced there while their neighbours to the north-east of Germany is third with 15%. South of France is Spain and they also produce 10% as do the Russians.
It’s worth nothing, a lot of German sekt (the German word for sparkling wine) is made from imported wine and turned into sparkling wine in Germany. These are also often low on alcohol content. Deutscher Sekt from German grapes, is only a small part of the industry though it is gaining popularity.
The biggest companies that sell sparkling wine around the wine
G. H. Mumm
Reims in northern France is home to one of the largest sparkling wine producers in G. H. Mumm. The Pernod Ricard-owned company ranks fourth in the entire world for bottles sold.
G. H. Mumm was founded by three brothers of the Mumm family who were named, Jacobus, Gottlieb and Phillip. They were in fact German winemakers from the Rhine valley. The G.H part of the name came from G. Heuser and Friedrich Giesler.
Mumm’s most famous label is the red ribbon (Cordon Rouge), which was patterned after and resembling the French Grand Cordon of the Légion d’Honneur.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the company in the early days though, as the French confiscated all of the Mumm’s property as they were not French citizens despite the family living in Champagne for almost a century before World War I.
G. H. Mumm is often associated with horse racing with Australia’s Melbourne Cup, USA’s Kentucky Derby and The Sun Met in South Africa being sponsored by the company. G. H. Mumm was also the champagne sprayed by the winners on F1 racing podiums between 2000 and 2015.
When people think champagne, they often think Moët & Chandon. The French fine winery is so big it owns famous luxury brand Louis Vuitton. Moët et Chandon is one of the world’s largest champagne producers and arguably the most famous champagne house in Champagne, France.
Moët et Chandon is more than four decades older than Australia is as a nation with it starting way back in 1743 by Claude Moët. The Chandon name was added 90 years after the company was established when Pierre-Gabriel Chandon de Brialles who was Claude’s great grandson in law. The mid 1700s was a boom time for champagne under the reign of King Louis XV and bottles of sparkling wine were frequently sent to Paris from champagne.
Their first vintage wine (when all grapes used are harvested from the same year and not produced in poor growing seasons)Brut Imperial was introduced in the 1860s. It wasn’t until 1921 the first famous Dom Perignon was produced. It wasn’t released for 15 years after when it was shipped on the Normandie to New York as a gift to a family wedding. Dom Perignon was named after a monk and cellar master at Benedictine abbey in Hautvillers, northern France. He was famous for blending grapes to improve the quality and balance as well as producing clear white wines from black grapes. He also introduced corks (before then wood was used).
One vintage of Dom Perignon is around five million bottles. 60% of those are Chardonnay grapes while 40% are from Pinot noir crops. All are aged 12 years.
Today there is a whopping 1,190 hectares (2,900 acres) of vineyards making 28,000,000 bottles of champagne every year!
The best Australian Sparkling Wines
House of Arras
House of Arras was started by Australia’s most awarded sparkling winemaker, Ed Carr and is located down in Tasmania because of the perfect cold climate. The entire range of Arras sparkling wines are at least 3-10 yrs old for world class quality and maturity.
Long summer daylight and maritime influences from the various vineyards in southern Tasmania and the south east coast. Each has a different character from their chardonnay and pinot noir fruits.
House of Arras won the ‘best sparkling’ trophy at every capital city wine show in Australia in 2017.
Chandon is the only Aussie sparkling wine maker with genuine French heritage with Moët & Chandon expanding their business down under.
In 1959 founder Robert-Jean de Vogüé and his oenologist Renaud Poirier starting working with Argentinian wines and then in 1973, de Vogüé and Californian entrepreneur John Wright expanded to California’s Napa Valley.
In the mid-1980s, they turned an old dairy farm in Victoria’s Yarra Valley into a vineyard. The cool climate and great soil. Since 1986, it has become Australia’s leading méthode traditionnelle sparkling wines with 40 grape growers in the region across a range of microclimates.
All Chandon sparkling wines are aged in bottles for 18 months and come from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier varieties.
Chandon has since begun wine production in India and China as well.
The Great Western winery by Seppelt was founded by Joseph Best in 1865 after he had local gold miners tunnel the underground cellars that he dubbed The Drives. The winery was later purchased by Ballarat businessman Hans Irvine, who began the tradition of Seppelt Sparkling wines in 1890 when he brought over Frenchman Charles Pierlot from Champagne to start making Methode Champenoise sparkling wines. The vineyard has since won a plethora of awards.
Orlando Wines founded Jacob’s Creek in 1976 before Pernod Ricard took over the company in 1989. Their winery is located in Rowland Flat in South Australia’s Barossa Valley.
80% of Jacob’s Creek wines are exported out of Australia to over 60 countries but its biggest sales come from the UK, New Zealand and Asia.
In terms of sparkling wine, has an extensive range which includes a cuvee Rosé, Moscato, Moscato Rosé, Sparkling Shiraz, Sparkling Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Prosecco and Prosecco Spritz.
Owned by Treasury Wine Estates, Henry Lindeman founded Lindeman’s wines in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales in 1843. That vineyard however was replaced by those in South Australia’s Barossa Valley and Coonawarra as well as in Padthaway and Karadoc in Victoria. Known for it’s great quality for a reasonable price, Lindeman is knwn for its Bin 65 chardonnay which is one of Australia’s most exported wines.
Aussie winemaker Lindeman’s features sparkling wines such as the Cawarra Brüt Cuvee and Henry’s Sons Brut Cuvee.
Vittorio De Bortoli journeyed from Castelcucco, Italy in 1924 to start a new life in New South Wales eventually arriving in Griffith (thenknown as Bagtown). The flat plains and red earth are very different to the hillls of Treviso. After working hard for a couple of years on the land, Vittorio purchased a 55 acre mixed fruit farm. He decided to cruse 15 tonnes of shiraz grapes and local Italians and other European workers in the area would buy wine off him. De Bortoli has turned into one of Australia’s largest privately owned companies with wineries in Griffith, the Hunter Reigion of NSW and Yarra Valley, Victoria which now includes a cheesemaker.
De Bortoli’s sparkling wine range includes Rococo, Prosecco and its famous Emeri.
The best champagne bar in Roselands
Do you and the girls love to get together for a bottle or two of bubbly? Then gather the crew and head to Lantern Club’s Bubbly Bar where every Friday night we literally let the bubbles and corks fly. We have the music, the bubbles and of course the best Champagne and sparkling wine from around the world.